BPREVIEW: Table Scraps + Black Mekon @ Hare & Hounds 27.04.17

Words by Ed King / Pics stolen from various corners of t’interweb

On Thursday 27th April, Table Scraps + Black Mekon play at the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath) – launching their split 7” limited vinyl, as part of the 45 Consortium series.

Doors open at 8pm, with tickets are priced at a friendly £5 (+ booking fee). For more direct gig info, including venue details and online ticket sales, click here. You must be over 18 years old to ride this ride.

‘Belched out of the Midlands’, one of our favourite quotes this year, Table Scraps are busily terrorising people across the UK with a four date tour – coming to their home turf on Thursday 27th April for the  official launch of ‘My Obsession’, their latest single. And now greater in number, with the addition of TJ on bass guitar and vocals, Table Scraps are official 33.333 recurring louder. “Hello… sorry, what? From the Environmental Health. No, no one of that name here… Try the Weatherspoons.”

Released as part of Black Mekon’s 45 Consortium series – a series of six limited 7” vinyl press singles, featuring Black Mekon on one side and a guest artist on t’other – ‘My Obsession’ is a tense and brooding slab of menace anchored around a hypnotic fuzz bass and primal drum groove.’ Sounds like most Monday mornings to me.

What the Black Mekon side of the 7” is, we sadly cannot say. It’s either a closely guarded secret or a digital marketing mishap, but we’ve scoured the public domain (their website, Clash Magazine, Discogs…) and come up with nothing but mystery.

But I guess that’s what Thursday’s all about, and costing a mere five British Pounds Sterling you’re likely to get more bang for your buck than a convoluted scratch card. And some 3D glasses. Win win.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, here’s Table Scrap’s official video to ‘My Obsession’ – produced, as always, by the bionic three piece themselves. Viddy my droogs, what bolshy horrorshow warbles from Birmingham’s ‘most respected (and feared) fuzz merchants:

‘My Obsession’ – Table Scraps

Table Scraps + Black Mekon play at the Hare & Hounds on Thursday 27th April – launching ‘My Obsession’ through the 45 Consortium series of limited releases. For direct gig info and online tickets sales, click here.


For more on Table Scraps, visit www.table-scraps.bandcamp.com

For more on Black Mekon, visit www.blackmekon.com 

For more from the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath), including full event listing and online ticket sales, visit www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk


Words by Ed King / Video by Trapeze Film  

On Friday 21st April, Chris Tye released his third studio album – Stronger in Numbers. Launching the LP with a special gig at Ort Café on Saturday 22nd April, with support from Hannah Brown, Chris Tye will be playing the full track list off Stronger in Numbers alongside selected songs from his back catalogue.

Tickets to Chris Tye’s Stronger in Numbers album launch show are priced at £6.60 (inc booking fee). For direct Ort Cafe gig info, including venue details and online ticket sales, click here.

Birmingham Review last spoke to Chris Tye nearly three years ago, when the singer/songwriter was releasing his previous LP – The Paper Grenade. For the full interview, click here.

Now Stronger in Numbers sits on the table, with ten new tracks and the reworking of an old favourite, ‘No Sing’. Michael Clarke is back behind the glass, with the entire LP being recorded and engineered at Clarke’s King’s Heath based studio – with a who’s who of local musicians jumping in across the album.

Dan Whitehouse, Vijay Kashore, Paul Connop, Jo Hamilton, Jayne Powell, Simon Davies, Michael King and Anna Bennett (Boat to Row) all feature on various tracks, with Jon Cotton working on ‘No Sing’ alongside Tye and Clarke. It’s a rich collage, and a testament to Chris Tye’s quiet reverence within Birmingham’s music community. Although he’ll never admit it.

Birmingham Review grabbed the man once again, for a coffee and chat at Cherry Reds on John Bright Street. We even got him to play the title track off his new album, the deeply personal and pertinent ‘Stronger in Numbers’.

Watch our interview with Chris Tye below, or visit the Birmingham Review YouTube page for this and others. ‘Stronger in Numbers’ is performed at 20mins 44secs.

Chris Tye @ Cherry Reds 21.04.17


Chris Tye launches his latest album, Stronger in Numbers, at Ort Café on Saturday 22nd April – with support from Hannah Brown. For direct gig info, including venue details and online ticket sales, visit www.ortcafe.co.uk/chris-tyehannah-brown

For more on Chris Tye, visit www.christyemusic.wordpress.com

For more from Ort Cafe, visit www.ortcafe.co.uk

For more from Cherry Reds, visit www.cherryreds.com






Words & interview by Ed King / Video by Trapeze Film

It’s easy to compare artists, to reference the more established when introducing the new blood. And you could be called a lot worse than some of the names in front of ‘Rhys Lewis’ on this press release.

But ‘Rhys Lewis‘ is Rhys Lewis, and whilst his blend of soul/pop has found a respectable fixture in recent commercial charts (think the capital of Hungary) it’s now arguably his time to shine through.

Signing to Decca Records, the guardians of a pretty fundamental portfolio (from The Rolling Stones and Billie Holiday to Imelda May and The Lumineers), Rhys Lewis’s debut single smashed the No#1 spot on the Spotify Viral Charts at the end of 2016. His latest single, ‘Living in the City’, has racked up a six figure stream since its release in January this year.

Decca are pushing him too – with press tours, showcase gigs and the hard graft schedule that an emerging artist needs to work through. The adjectives on his press release are pretty impressive, as well as the proper nouns.

INTERVIEW: Rhys LewisRhys Lewis seems to be taking it in his stride though, with a startlingly mature approach from a younger artist, “it’s amazing to have Decca on board to help get the music out there, but you have to be working just as hard before you get signed as well as when you are signed. You don’t end up going to loads of celebrity parties… you’ve still got to work hard.”

So no Little Mix covered in blue M&Ms, but over a million views from two singles… if you’d have given me this kind of attention in my early twenties I might have been less than professional about it.

But it’s a relatively clear equation: talent + healthy precocity + single² x album (÷ festival season) = a chance at getting somewhere in this maelstrom of a music industry. And with enough tracks ‘done and dusted’ to balance this sum, I guess all that’s needed now are some greenfield stages and warm cider.

On his criss-cross journey across the UK Rhys Lewis came to see us at Birmingham Review for a cup of cranberry tea and a natter. He also played an acoustic rendition of ‘Living in the City’, which was impressively nailed considering the early morning chill and general man flu in the room.

A special thanks to the CBSO Centre for giving us a place to play, chat and drink warm liquids. To see what else is happening at the CBSO Centre, including full venue details and events programme, click here.

Check out the interview & live performance of ‘Living in the city’ from Rhys Lewis, for Birmingham Review – alongside the single’s official video. Links below:

Rhys Lewis – interview & live performance, for Birmingham Review 

‘Living in the City’ (official video) – Rhys Lewis

For more on Rhys Lewis, visit www.rhyslewisofficial.com

For more from Decca Records, visit www.decca.com

For more from Trapeze Films, visit www.trapezefilm.com